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“Are traffic violators criminals? Searching for answers in experiences of European countries”

Author

Listed:
  • José I. Castillo-Manzano

    () (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, University of Seville (Spain))

  • Mercedes Castro-Nuño

    () (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, University of Seville (Spain))

  • Xavier Fageda

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

Abstract

The connection between road traffic safety and criminal behavior has recently become a topic of interest in the literature, although little emphasis placed on the relationship with road accidents. Evidence worldwide shows that people who commit other offences characteristic of antisocial attitudes, are more prone to suffer road traffic accidents and infringe traffic laws. Here we examine the records of the 28 current member states of the European Union over the period 1999-2010. Our aim is to test the hypothesis that crime rates (and specifically, motor vehicle-related crimes) may be considered as predictors of fatal road traffic accidents. If they may, this could justify, at least prima facie, the tendency in several countries to consider traffic offences as crimes in their penal codes and to toughen the punishment imposed on those who commit them. We also analyze the effect of the severity of the legal system applied to traffic offences. Our results reveal that road traffic fatality rates are higher in countries whose inhabitants have more aggressive behavior, while the rates are lower in countries with more severe penal systems.

Suggested Citation

  • José I. Castillo-Manzano & Mercedes Castro-Nuño & Xavier Fageda, 2014. "“Are traffic violators criminals? Searching for answers in experiences of European countries”," IREA Working Papers 201415, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201415
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    File URL: http://www.ub.edu/irea/working_papers/2014/201415.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Road fatalities; Motor Vehicle Crime; Law enforcement; Panel Data; European Union JEL classification: C33; I18; K42; R41.;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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